My question involves criminal law for the state of: Arizona
Hello everyone, just to start I am a 21 year old college student that attends Arizona State University. In my apartment located off campus, I was charged with "possession of paraphernalia". (Section 13-3415 A of Maricopa County Sheriff's Office). My roommate was smoking a blunt in his room, and the officer's had knocked on the door. I walked to the door and the 2 police officers and 2 security guards were hiding from the peephole. They entered immediately after I opened the door, claiming that they had smelled weed. They came in and found 4 water pipes (2 were mine and 2 were my roommates). We both ended up with paraphernalia charges. I was not high, nor had any marijuana on me. Furthermore, previously I had maintained a completely clean record.
Unfortunately, in Maricopa County, it is considered a class 6 felony. From my previous research, the typical protocol is 6 months of diversion (TASC) to have it reduced to a class 1 misdemeanor. TASC generally requires classes and weekly drug tests.
I got my medical marijuana license in November of 2010 in California. Could this have any affect on my case? Should I seek an attorney? Or should I go with a Public Defender? A defense attorney seems like an expensive solution to a relatively inexpensive problem.
I am looking for any way possible to get a reduction in my penalty. Staying off marijuana for 6 months is not a problem, I am just worried about the possibility of being in the wrong place at the wrong time and ending up with a felony on my record.
I am a good student from a good family. Any informative input is highly appreciated. Thanks for taking the time to read this. The whole situation has me shook.